Writer Michael Kingsley thinks one reason print newspapers may be headed for extinction like the dinosaur isn’t because of electronic competition but because of demographics. According to him, the older generation, accustomed to print media, is giving way to younger readers who are comfortable with the internet. (“The Front Page 2.0,” Vanity Fair, May 2014 pg. 116.) )
The downside for the consumer, he notes is that many of these web providers are “aggregators,” meaning they don’t put reporters at the scene of events but draw upon secondary sources, the Associated Press for example, and reprints found elsewhere. Assembling news rather than going to the source, means anyone with a little financial backing can get into the game regardless of qualifications. (Ibid pg. 119).
It’s hard to imagine a world without the bastions of investigative journalism like The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal appearing in print every day. And I’m not sure Kingsley is right in his assessment. The demographics still favor print media. Baby boomers will dominate the census until 2030 before their numbers decline and that decline will be gradual. Women who outlive men will be around a while longer, not to mention advances in medicine that are extending everyone’s lives. (http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/senior-population.php) My guess that that a sizeable population that likes the smell of newsprint with their morning coffee will keep newspapers alive and well far into the future.
(Courtesy of www.dreamtime.com)